Whitaker won’t say if Mueller probe is a ‘witch hunt’

Whitaker won’t say if Mueller probe is a ‘witch hunt’

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Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker speaks to law enforcement officers in Austin, Texas, about border security, on Dec. 11, 2018. (Justice Department/Twitter)

WASHINGTON – During a congressional hearing on Friday, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker refused to say whether he thinks Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials is a “witch hunt.”

“Congressman, it would be inappropriate for me to talk about an ongoing investigation,” Whitaker said in response to a question from Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) during testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

President Donald Trump often refers to Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt.” Trump has adamantly denied allegations of collusion.

Whitaker assumed responsibility for overseeing the investigation last November after Trump fired then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Whitaker had served as Sessions’ chief of staff.

Whitaker has come under fire for having been critical of the probe prior to his appointment. More recently, Whitaker faced criticism for telling reporters that Mueller will soon release a final report on the investigation.

Earlier in the hearing Whitaker testified that he has “not interfered in any way with the special counsel’s investigation.”

Cohen subsequently referenced that claim and asked if Whitaker had denied any funds requested by the special counsel’s office.

“Congressman, to answer your question directly, I have not denied any funds to the special counsel’s investigation.”

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